Friday, March 7, 2008

Las Vegas and Valley of Fire State Park

Where in the World are Keith and Kathy?

While in the Las Vegas area, we decided to split up our time among several venues.

Our first stop was the Sam’s Town Casino Campground, where we enjoyed ourselves for 3 days with cheap food, gambling, shopping and one interesting show. This campground is somewhat crowded, but is clean and well laid out, so we did not feel claustrophobic.

Home Sweet Home

Las Vegas Skyline

Las Vegas Enterprise

Keith was not interested in the show Kathy wanted to see but agreed to transport her. We headed downtown on Tuesday to one of the half/price ticket agencies. Kathy was able to buy a ticket to the $250,000 game show for half price. After a lunch consisting of 99cent hot dogs and deep fried Oreos at Mermaids Casino (3 COWS), Kathy was on her way to an afternoon of great fun at the Las Vegas Hilton.

The game show is a new concept in Las Vegas. It is a compilation of many of the classic game shows and random drawing chooses the contestants. The host for the afternoon was Bob Eubanks (Newly-Wed Game host) and while Kathy was not chosen as a contestant, it was a lot of fun. She did not stop laughing from start to finish.

On Thursday we headed for four days at the Valley of Fire State Park, leaving some of Kathy’s money behind at the casinos. Valley of Fire derives its name from the red sandstone formations that fill the park. The rock formations are breathtaking and beautiful. The sunrises and sunsets over the desert landscapes are spectacular.

Until recently, only dry camping was available at Valley of Fire. However, last December the state opened a group of new sites with electric and water in Atlatl Rock Campground. Thus we were able to park amongst the spectacular red rock formations while at the same time enjoying microwave cooking and satellite television, as well as weak but serviceable cell phone and internet service (“can you hear me now?”). Some people may sneeringly say that this is not true camping, and we might agree. However, we think it is the best of both worlds, being able to have all the comforts of home while looking out the window at the truly magnificent scenery. We feel it is an enjoyable and highly fulfilling lifestyle, whatever it may be labeled.

Atlatl Rock Campground


Critter 1

Critter 2

Most of our visit was spent relaxing and recovering from the hustle and hassle of NASCAR and the Vegas scene. We did however drive to the visitors center and along the road to the White Domes. The visitors center is in a new building and houses numerous interpretive displays about flora, fauna, geology, and the history of the area. The road to the White domes is a spectacular drive cut through the heart of the rugged and beautiful red rock formations. At the terminus of the 5 mile drive the rock color changes from red to white, with intermixed layers of variously colored rock.

Valley of Fire S.P. Visitor's Center

Red and White Rock Layers

White Domes

We enjoyed our three days in Valley of Fire very much but then headed back to Las Vegas for 4 more days of cheap thrills and fun in sin city. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

mmason said...

All your pics are great, good job. Being a dislocated Westerner, some of the locations you show make me quite homesick.